Institute assistant manager, Sean Friars, was delighted by Institute’s battling display which secured them a hard earned point against in-form Glentoran.
The Glens, who went into the game looking for their sixth win a row, had a host of chances after the break but a combination of Rory Brown’s stunning goalkeeping and some heroic defending ensured Stute secured their third draw in succession.
“It’s a good point for us. It was a game of two halves,” stated Friars,
“I thought in the first half we were very good. We gave away a sloppy goal but then we had the better, clearer chances. But, they’re a good side and in the second half they put us under pressure.
“They never looked like hurting us from open play but with set pieces, they had a few chances.
“To be fair to our boys, they threw everything on the line - faces, legs, bodies - they showed real desire not to concede. It’s pleasing and probably fair result.
“Rory made a couple of great saves, defenders and everyone cleared the ball off the line, all the players put their bodies on the line to keep the ball out and while that sounds like an absolute battering, as I said, in the first half we were very good.
“In the second half the boys did their job. That’s their job, to defend set-pieces, and the keeper are is there to save shots so that’s what they have done which is pleasing.”
Friars also believes the likes of Warrenpoint Town, Glenavon and Dungannon Swifts will have been thinking over the last three weeks that ’Stute would have been unlikely to take a single point against Larne, Crusaders and the Glens, so managing to secure three points from those encounters was very pleasing.
“For the other teams that we’re competing against, these results are a blow to them because it’s like three defeats to them before a ball is kicked,” he added. “It would have been nice to get a win in one of the games, but we’ve shown we’re well equipped to take points from the top teams.
“We have players coming back from injury and the squad will get stronger. We’ve managed a draw against Larne, Crusaders and the Glens - three teams who beat us convincingly earlier in the year.”
Friars knows that ’Stute’s forthcoming fixture list doesn’t get any easier, starting with champions, Linfield, visiting the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium this weekend.
“After Linfield, we’ll move into December and face those around us and we’ll see whether those points were worthwhile or not.
“Having drawn with Larne, the Crues and the Glens, it means the boys can take belief into the Linfield game. They’ll be confident enough to go into it and see if we can put in another performance and get something from the game.
“Our last three results will also show Linfield that we are no push overs even if we are big underdogs.”